I made my way to the Como Zoo this weekend, following my usual every-other-Saturday schedule and looking forward to my usual task of cleaning the mice cages (for eventual devouring by the snakes and raptors, but I tend not to dwell on that). I did not know that what was in store for me was a special viewing of the new, three week old, nameless (they hold an auction for the name--the last one they did resulted in a giraffe named Jenny to the tune of $10,000) and not yet on public display baby giraffe. She's pretty shy and stuck close to her mom.
The zookeeper that was kind enough to take the time out of his day to show me around (Roger, who's been there for 39 years, testifying to the fact that this is the kind of job people hang onto) answered all kinds of questions for me, including the answer to the question of the baby giraffe's paternity. To sum it up, this picture says it all--every inch of this 14-foot, cracker-loving guy (whose name I did not commit to memory...maybe I was just as distracted by the crackers).
He wasn't sure about me at first, so Roger got some crackers...
...and we became fast friends. I lucked out that I had my phone with me (and I scoffed at the idea of a camera phone, especially considering my delightul Christmas Kodak), and that I figured out how to get them onto the computer.
After the photo shoot, I got close to his legs (which were safely in his stall and not near me...giraffe legs are much bigger than they look from afar; they make horse legs look like toothpicks) to get a sense of the size. When I turned around, he was bent over me to see what I was doing and I came face-to-face with his chin.
And people laugh when I say I clean the mouse cages at the zoo!